Built in 132 AD, the library of Hadrian is one of the most popular archeological sights in the ancient Agora of Athens. Although much of the structure has been destroyed, it is still possible to make out the courtyard, some walls (including most of the facade), lecture room benches, and library. This library was not only used as a store for books, scrolls and important documents, but also held lectures and taught students philosophy.


Over the many years since its foundation in 132 AD, the library has had a wide variety of functions, serving as a mosque, fortress, army barracks and even prison in this time! Also on the site several churches were build and subsequently destroyed – the remains of their mosaics and walls are still visible in places.


I particularly liked how we were able to climb all over much of the area and there were very few other visitors around. However, some more information around the site about important features to note and historical details would have been helpful. It was a shame we also arrived just before it closed so couldn’t spend more time exploring.

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